The announcement by newly elected President Cyril Ramaphosa in his maiden SONA address that tourism is one of the key focus areas for economic growth is excellent news for areas such as the Klein Karoo and surrounds, says John Albertyn from Seeff.
The Klein Karoo has long been regarded as a prime tourist area, attracting not just local visitors, but people from across the world to its hospitality and tourism products and property. And, he adds, the great news is that there are a number of unique opportunities available on the market right now.
One such is the magnificent Bosch Luys Kloof Private Nature Reserve, situated at the top of Great Swartberg at the Seweweeks Poort Pass, just north of Ladismith in the Klein Karoo.
The location is almost indescribable as are the breath taking views and setting, says Albertyn. The property comprises of 13,450ha of pristine Highland Karoo Veld with a perennial river and with stunning kloofs, ravines and cliffs. The veld varies from sparse to thick bush and game thrives here in their natural environment.
The property comes complete with a fully equipped 4-star resort lodge in a thatched and typical African bush style. It includes guest accommodation in the form of a guest house and nine cottages with 18 double rooms in all. There are also full dining, kitchen and wedding and venue facilities. It is also equipped with top class dining and bar facilities.
The lodge is beautifully furnished and finished and is being sold as a going concern inclusive of all movable assets. The asking price is R40 million and a complete prospectus is available, says Albertyn.
The area is renowned as ‘Big Sky’ country, with crisp and clear air. Amenities and facilities include guided mountain biking, hiking and trail running on specially designed paths that best show off the countryside. There are also self-drive or guided game drives along with canoeing in the Gamkaskloof Dam, bird watching, fossil hunting and rock climbing.
Other attractions in the area include the Ladismith Cheese Factory, Anysberg horse trails, Buffelspoort Mountain Bike Route, Rubicon 4x4 Trail, Ladismith and Hillock Wine Cellars, Seweweeks Poort 4x4, Kanna Biodiversity Route, Laingsburg Flood Museum, Rock Climbing and plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from.
Ladismith is historically a town serving the local farming community, but tourism has over the past few years become its main income source as well as being a very popular place to retire, says Albertyn. The town is located on the busy R62 tourist route and is very popular with motorbike and 4x4 enthusiasts as well as foreign visitors. The town has a junior and high school, hospital, police station, farmers’ co-op, fuel stations, municipality, museum and interesting shops.
The type of farming in the area tends to vary from game and ostrich farms to Lucerne, sheep and also wine farms. Most of the land being sold around Ladismith, is low-potential agricultural land which is turned into game farms, says Albertyn.
Buyers are mostly South African, although the area is also very attractive to foreign investors. Political instability and uncertainty in South Africa as well as the volatility of the Rand has meant that a lot of potential foreign investors are looking elsewhere in Africa to invest.
While the Western Cape drought is affecting farm prices, it does not affect farms that have their own water sources and are not so dependent on water schemes and these are still very sought after. In any event, says Albertyn, now is an excellent time to invest, especially in the tourism sector as this is about to take off in a big way as a key driver of economic growth.